The Retrofit Academy CIC was established in 2016 to support the construction industry to raise the quality of domestic retrofit projects. As a CIC, The Academy is not for profit and any surplus is reinvested.
The Academy recognised that retrofit was not covered in sufficient detail in mainstream design and construction education delivered through universities and colleges. Meanwhile, many retrofit projects delivered under publically-funded schemes such as the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) were failing. Defect rates were as high as 10% and some projects were even putting the public at risk. A lack of knowledge and a failure to employ best-practice was often at the heart of the matter.
The Academy worked with leading experts to develop the Retrofit Coordinator CPD programme. This has helped train over 500 people from a range of backgrounds, including architects, energy assessors, builders and social landlords. We created a Retrofit Coordinator Register to help signpost the industry to people they could be sure had been properly educated. As details of the Each Home Counts Review emerged, it became clear that the time of the Retrofit Coordinator had come. The new BSI PAS2035 standards will require all retrofit projects to employ a Retrofit Coordinator to lead and quality assure the process.
In 2017, The Academy partnered with the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), main contractor Engie and trade association the Insulated Cladding and Rendering Association (INCA) to secure funding from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). This allowed us to develop a regulated qualification for Retrofit Coordinators. The result is the Open College Network West Midlands Level 5 Diploma in Retrofit Coordination and Risk Management.
In September 2018, the Academy became the first Centre to be approved to deliver the new qualification by the Awarding Body. Our focus now is on delivering the training nationally and continuing to build partnerships with the industry to help boost quality and output.